Recently, a 53-year-old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver in San Antonio while she was road running. She was an avid runner with 27 marathons to her name who was known for having a “fierce, yet loving soul.” She ran every day. She was jogging on the North Loop 1604 West between Lockhill Selma Road and NW Military Highway when she was tragically run over by a driver who fled the scene. Fortunately, the San Antonio Police Department arrested a suspect whom they believe killed the beloved runner.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we want our community members to be safe while road running and avoid the tragic fate of the avid runner. We have prepared this road running safety tips list to help you stay safe. Follow these road running safety tips this season and throughout the year:
Plan Your Run Ahead of Time
Before heading out for a run, have a plan in place. Know where you are going so that you do not get lost and can focus on the pavement under your feet. You can use an app to plan your route and inform a friend of it to be even safer.
Avoid Rush Hour
If possible, try to avoid running on a road during rush hour. An open road is a lot safer.
Consider the Weather
Check on the weather before heading out. Plan for hot weather by bringing extra water. Be knowledgeable of where you can take cover in case it starts to rain.
One of the most important safety tips for running outside is to be visible. Drivers are notoriously distracted, so you must take extra steps to make yourself seen, such as:
- Avoid running when it is dark or in areas where visibility is low.
- Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.
- Accentuate moving body parts, such as arms and legs.
- Use a flashing light to further increase visibility.
While many people enjoy listening to music or other sounds while running, an important safety precaution for jogging outside is not to use headphones. Headphones can make you more vulnerable to approaching traffic because you may not hear warning sounds of impending danger.
If you can’t completely eliminate headphones, consider using a brand that does not fit directly in your ears and allows you to hear sounds around you. Or, use only one earbud so you can hear any dangers in your other ear.
Carry Your ID
Just in case an emergency happens, bring your driver’s license or identification card with you. Also, fill out an emergency contact card and keep it with you during runs, so law enforcement or a witness knows who to contact.
Bring Your Phone
Another important running safety tip is to bring your phone with you just in case you run into danger. Consider installing an app that shares your route information with a trusted person. Make sure your phone is fully charged before leaving.
Carry a Whistle
Carry a whistle with you to notify others if you are in danger.
Run Against the Traffic
A key component to jogging safety is running against traffic so that you can more easily see drivers and they can more easily see you.
Drivers can see runners more easily when they travel in groups. Try to get a running partner or join a local running group.
Follow Basic Traffic Laws
Obey basic safety rules while running, such as always looking for vehicles before crossing the road and using crosswalks where they are available.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are hurt on a run, seek immediate medical attention. Notify the authorities if a driver has hit you.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we want you to know how to run on the road safely. However, if you are hurt in an accident, know that you can count on our capable legal team to seek justice for you. For life’s toughest trials, we are there. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.